Moto 360 will be first Android Wear device in China; Will Google finally re-enter Chinese market?
The Moto 360 will be the first Android Wear device to launch in China on September 24. Bringing Android Wear to China is a huge step for Google towards its goal of returning to the Chinese market.
Android Headlines reported a circulating image in the Chinese social media Weibo disclosed that the Moto 360 will be released to Chinese consumers on September 24. It showed that a sale for the Moto 360 will be held at 10 am (local time) in popular online retailers and Motorola.
The Moto 360 will be the first device equipped with Android Wear to set foot in China. Unconfirmed rumors say that the smart watch will have two variants: a 42 mm model costing 1,999 yuan (about $315) and a 46 mm version at 2,199 yuan (about $345).
The device carries a tweaked version of Android Wear and Google Play Store since many Google services and features are banned in China. As such, Google removed Google Now and Google Play for the Chinese version of Android Wear.
Android Engineering Director David Singleton said they had difficulty decoupling Android Wear from Google's services, reported Tech 2. Google announced that Chinese developers can create and install apps on Android Wear devices through local Chinese app stores.
9to5Google said that the arrival of Moto 360 and Android Wear in China is "a building block in helping the relationship between Google and China". Google partnered with Mobvoi, a tech company focused on voice-activated search, to integrate Chinese voice search and controls to Android Wear.
These features have been limited because of the strict Chinese government's trust issues against Google. By strategically partnering with Mobvoi and other Chinese companies, Google can offer localized services and information on the Moto 360 with Android Wear.
It is too early to predict how the Moto 360 will fare in the Chinese market in terms of sales. Google is evidently planning to re-enter the Chinese market with the Chinese Google Play Store in the past and now with Android Wear devices. It is reported that Google wants to collaborate with Huawei to have its services positively recognized within China.